Sandbags are available to residents and are limited to 50 per homeowner. The limit is in place primarily due to the high number of homes affected by the fire and potential flooding. Additional sandbags may be approved as the need arises and on a case by case basis. Sandbags can be collected at the Lincoln County Emergency Operations Center at 111 Copper Ridge Road. NRCS is available to discuss slope stabilization and flood mitigation that homeowners can complete on private lands. Call 575-648-2941.
Upon the request of Governor Susana Martinez, the Small Business Administration (SBA) has declared a disaster in Lincoln County as a result of the Little Bear Fire. The declaration will make low-interest loans available to homeowners, renters and businesses that incurred physical damage from the fire. In addition, businesses that suffered economic hardship because of the Little Bear Fire may also be eligible. SBA representatives will be on hand at the Little Bear Fire Recovery Center at the Old Mormon Church, 1470 Highway 48, Capitan, NM 88316, Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Everyone who suffered a loss during the fire is encouraged to apply even if they don’t end up taking a loan since this application will get them in the system for any government assistance that may be available. Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed primary residences. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property. SBA can also lend additional funds to homeowners and businesses to help with the cost of making improvements that protect, prevent or minimize damage from future fire. Applications for assistance can be filed through Sept. 7 but the SBA representatives will only be on hand here in Lincoln County to help file the applications until July 26. No applications will be accepted after Sept. 7. More information is available by calling 1-800-659-2955 or at www.sba.gov.
The Little Bear Fire Donation Center at River Crossing is requesting additional donations of cleaning supplies and tools. Shovels, rakes and gloves are in high demand. Donations can be dropped off Monday-Saturday 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Donations to the Little Bear Fire Relief fund can be made at www.littlebearrecovery.org.